On her tournament debut, Dominika Cibulkova defeated Svetlana Kuznetsova in a thrilling and high-quality semifinal of the WTA Finals. Nothing but awe-inspiring determination, fighting spirit and spectacular tennis handed the Slovak this priceless victory against just as amazing opponent.
The seventh-seeded Cibulkova opened the match with a strong hold of serve and in the first three games it seemed that we were in for a tightly-contested set, even though the Slovak was broken in the third game. However, as the set progressed, the 27-year-old Cibulkova’s level was dropping and Kuznetsova continued her Singapore fairy tale with a strong 6-1 score in the first set.
The second set was much more competitive, as Cibulkova led by a break as many as three times and every time Kuznetsova managed to break back right away, on the third occasion even without losing a point to level to 6-6 and force a tiebreak. The aggressive and focused Cibulkova imposed her dominance in the tiebreak, this time not allowing the Russian to recover.
The third set was as dramatic as the $7,000,000 tournament deserves. The Lacoste-clad Cibulkova raced to a 2-0 lead and just as it seemed that the momentum was on the Slovak’s side and that Kuznetsova had finally run out of gas, the Russian won four games in a row. Cibulkova then answered by taking three straight games to again lead, 5-4. All these twists and turns were accompanied by powerful tennis, energy and emotions. In the tenth game, Cibulkova managed to edge magnificent Kuznetsova, recording a 1-6 7-6(2) 6-4 victory.
Next up is the semifinal between top seed Angelique Kerber and second seed Agnieszka Radwanska. Check back to Women’s Tennis Blog for the account of this match, as well as tournament photo updates by our photographer Jimmie48.